Chinese owner of iconic MG car brand to build Europe plant to keep up with demand

China’s largest automotive producer SAIC Motor says it would construct its first manufacturing unit in Europe, after gross sales of its automobiles on the continent jumped.

The state-controlled firm – which owns the enduring MG model – says the brand new plant will produce electrical automobiles.

Nonetheless, a spokesperson advised media that SAIC has not but determined whether or not MG fashions could be made on the website.

MG, which has roots courting again over a century, was made within the UK till manufacturing was moved to China in 2016.

On Thursday, an SAIC spokesperson stated that the agency was nonetheless within the strategy of securing a website in Europe and finalising different particulars concerning the venture.

“We’ve many manufacturers together with MG, IM and Maxus. We’re nonetheless deciding which will probably be constructed on the manufacturing unit,” the spokesperson added.

Gross sales of its automobiles outdoors China surged by 40% within the first three months of the yr, based on SAIC.

The MG model accounted for almost all of abroad gross sales, because the variety of the automobiles offered in Europe greater than doubled in the identical interval, the corporate stated.

The newest announcement comes virtually seven years after SAIC halted MG assembling on the Longbridge plant in Birmingham.

In 2016, MG stated meeting within the UK was not “required” and that automobiles would arrive within the nation “totally constructed (and) prepared for distribution”.

The Longbridge plant constructed automobiles together with MG and the unique Mini. It was arrange in 1906 and survived World Wars One and Two.

Within the years that adopted, the location fought off post-war financial melancholy and the emergence of the motor business overseas.

It additionally recovered from strike motion, mergers, takeovers and drops in its share worth.

Manufacturing on the plant was halted after MG Rover collapsed in 2005. The model was finally purchased by SAIC.

In 2011, the MG6 was launched. It was the primary MG automotive in 16 years to be assembled at Longbridge.

The five-seater car was designed within the UK however its components had been made in China.

Chinese language carmakers – together with SAIC, Geely and Nice Wall – have seen their market shares develop lately.

Exports from China have been boosted by the demand for electrical automobiles and gross sales to Russia as many Western international locations imposed sanctions on Moscow after the invasion of Ukraine.

China exported greater than 1,000,000 automobiles within the first three months of this yr, official figures present. In consequence it overtook Japan because the world’s greatest exporter of automobiles.

In addition to its manufacturing vegetation in China, SAIC additionally has manufacturing services in Thailand, Indonesia, India and Pakistan.

The Chinese language agency, which has joint ventures with German motor large Volkswagen and US automotive maker Common Motors, offered 5.3 million automobiles globally final yr.

Europe was its largest abroad market with greater than 100,000 automobiles offered, based on SAIC.

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